Thank-you Letters

Always send a thank-you letter after you interview for a position or meet with someone as a contact for career-related advice. By doing so, you demonstrate clear appreciation for the time the employer or contact took to speak with you.

5 Steps to a Memorable Thank-You Letter

1. Whatever the format, keep it professional.

It is now acceptable to send a thank you via email or postal mail. If you are sending a letter via post, you can either write it by hand or type it. For handwritten notes, choose basic stationery in cream or white or a plain notecard. For typed letters, follow the basic guidelines for business letters, such as that used for writing cover letters. For emails, resist the temptation to use emoticons, excessive exclamation points or language that is too casual. 

2. Send a thank-you letter as soon as possible.

Typically, thank-you notes are sent within 24-48 hours of the interview. If you know that they will be making first-round decisions the same day, send a shortened version via email within a couple hours of your interview. Do not, however, send something from your cell phone the minute you leave the interview, as this conveys a lack of thoughtfulness in writing the note. For an informational meeting with an alum or other contact, send your letter within 3-5 days of your conversation. 

3. Help the person recall you and the conversation.

In your letter, mention the position for which you were interviewed, including the date and location. Highlight a particular aspect of the conversation that piqued your interest or a topic that the two of you shared in common. For alumni and other contacts, this will help build further rapport and may help the contact to remember you if an opportunity arises. 

4. Reaffirm your interest.

In your letter, strive to mention specific job duties or topics discussed. Rearticulate your strengths and experiences.

5. Take care of business.

Express your willingness to provide additional information if necessary, such as the names of references. If anything was requested of you during the interview, include that information with the letter.